Tuesday, May 01, 2018

My spring homework --- Thoughts on music

In previous years I have been rather lax about doing pre-festival homework aimed at investigating acts and artists about which I have little or no existing knowledge. There are plenty.
Whilst I regard absolute spontaneity as one of the greatest luxuries of attending a festival as an individual I am also acutely aware that this has caused me not to see bands which hindsight has revealed that I ought to have seen.

I made much more effort in this direction last year, by starting my homework earlier at the very least, but this year I feel I should try harder again and that is something I'm now doing and, furthermore, thoroughly enjoying
That's fine and I have done so, but this is a two-edged sword as it is now clear that at all the festivals I attend it will be quite impossible to see all the things that I
already know that I want to. I'm quite sure that I will, as always, make spur of the moment decisions some of which I might regret.  On the other hand such decisions have taken me in new, uncharted directions on many occasions too. Sometimes the deciding factor had been as simple as deciding to remain in a tented stage rather than leave it to see a band on an outdoor stage when it is teeming with rain. On some others it was a combination of incompetence and serendipity: this is how I came to see (at that point utterly unknown to me) Vukovi at Truck Festival last July; I headed off at the right time but to the wrong stage!  That actually worked out very well indeed; the band I failed to see then was Goat Girl and I got to see them play at End Of The Road Festival some weeks later.

If all of the above wasn't enough of a problem what I have discovered is tending to reinforce an impression that I have had for a long while. This is that as I get older I am actually getting to seek out and enjoy a wider variety of music. This seems to run against the grain of many studies and articles thereon that suggest that one's taste in music is largely guided by, if not defined by, that which one liked in late teens and early twenties.

I only started writing this on a whim this evening. I didn't really expect to get beyond the preamble. An hour or so later what has happened however is slightly different. My thoughts have crystallised rather rapidly. This is something of a 'Thoughts on music' version of the State of The Union. It has also rekindled my enthusiasm for writing more often. I go through phases when that doesn't happen. I also tends to coincide with times when I listen to the most music.
I'm fascinated by what I am discovering. I'm not yet sure how to present this but possibly an act that I have never seen before from each of the five festivals that I'm booked to attend. The only hard part of that is likely to be choosing which one from each.

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